In The Irish News on Apr 19 1997: Stevie Madden and Joe McAllister steer St Paul's to Ulster Handball League title win
ST PAUL’S clinched the Ulster Handball League title against Rossa, Stevie Madden and Joe McAllister securing the single point they required to pip Gort na Mona in the first game of doubles over Collie O’Hare and Peter McDermott.
The title race had effectively been ended on Wednesday night when St Paul’s defeated Gort na Mona 4-2 in the doubles, despite Paddy Crothers and John McGarry giving the Monagh Road side the perfect start winning the first match.
But the young exciting partnership of Seamus O’Tuama and Sean Devine defeated Eddie Mallon and Jim Smith in three games to nil.
For St Paul’s it caps a great year.
They won the All-Ireland senior club title for a record third time and Stevie Madden became the first player from Antrim to reach the All-Ireland Senior singles final.
Elsewhere, the Irish Nationals continue with former Antrim Senior star Billy Silcock renewing an old rivalry with Mickey Walsh of Roscommon at Kells in what could be the match of the weekend.
The last time they met Silcock defeated Walsh in a close fought Over-35 World final in 1994 and this one could go to the tie-breaker today.
THERE are few cast iron certainties in the world of professional sport.
But when it comes to snooker, it seems there’s more chance of Elvis striding into the Crucible singing Blue Suede Shoes than Stephen Hendry walking out in two weeks time without the Embassy world championship trophy.
Already the bookies have written off the 31 other contenders to install Hendry as 10-11 favourite to win his sixth successive title and that’s despite the 9-2 mauling the 28- year-old Scot recently suffered at the hands of Mark Williams in the British Open final.
Could it be the hot Scot is suffering from burn-out after a gruelling eight-month campaign which has taken him from Bournemouth to Bangkok, Motherwell to Malta? Motherwell to Malta?
“Not so,” claims the world No 1.
“It doesn’t matter what your form is like going into Sheffield. It would have been nice to go there with a win under my belt but I don’t really care.”
(Footnote: Alas, there’s no such thing in betting as a certainty. Dubliner Ken Doherty won the World title thay year, beating Hendry 18-12 in the final)
PAUL McCloskey the St Canice’s, Derry light-welter was unlucky to come up against a man with a mission in Paul Stephens of CIE in the opening round of the Irish Junior Boxing Championships at the National Stadium in Dublin last night.
But there was a fair sprinkling of Ulster winners on the Stadium card.
Harry Cunningham, from the Saints club in Twinbrook, was far too smart at flyweight for Michael Rogers of Rosses.
Cunningham, who has been enjoying a great season, was a clearcut 23-4 winner.
At lightweight, Jim Conlon was equally impressive when he ousted the Galway boy Martin McDonagh of Olympic 20-5 and Tyrone’s Owen McKillion of Clonoe, at light welter, easily ousted Tommy Kelly of Tralee.
Antrim’s Eamonn Gillen took the short route to victory, halting Colm Lynch (Ballinasloe) in round 1 while light-middle Conall Carmichael (Holy Trinity) also recorded a stoppage win, retiring his man in the third.
John Duddy (Ring) was in impressive form winning 22-3 against Martin Sweeney (Phoenix).